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Reactions: specific antibodies found in blood samples from patients years before they develop multiple sclerosis

Researchers have found specific antibodies in the blood of patients years before they showed symptoms of multiple sclerosis. This group of antibodies was present in 10% of the 250 people who later developed the disease, and were part of a sample of over 10 million US military personnel. The finding could have potential for early detection of multiple sclerosis, says the research team in a paper published in Nature Medicine

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Reactions: Use of antipsychotics for dementia associated with more harm than previously thought, study finds

According to a study published today by The BMJ, people with dementia who are treated with antipsychotics are at increased risk of serious adverse events such as stroke, blood clots, myocardial infarction, heart failure, fractures, pneumonia, and acute kidney injury, compared with those who do not take them, . These findings extend the harms previously associated with the use of these drugs on these patients. 

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Reactions: global income could decrease by 19% in two decades due to climate change

The global economy could lose, on average, 19% of income by 2049 due to increased carbon emissions over the past four decades, says an analysis published in Nature. To estimate the future economic damages of climate change, the authors used temperature and precipitation data for 1,600 regions worldwide in the past 40 years. Low-income countries will be more affected by these losses than higher-income countries, the authors warn. 

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Reactions: Commission denounces lack of knowledge about the impact of breast cancer on social and personal lives

Although breast cancer mortality has reduced by more than 40% in most high-income countries, a Lancet commission warns that one million people will die from the disease by 2040, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The authors highlight some of the knowledge gaps that persist about the disease, such as the lack of knowledge about the number of patients living with metastatic breast cancer and their needs, or the costs associated with breast cancer - including physical, psychological, social and economic costs - which, according to the authors, are immense but underestimated, and not adequately reflected in global health indicators. 

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Reactions: Analysis shows monoclonal antibody slows motor symptoms in patients with rapidly progressing Parkinson's disease

A monoclonal antibody called prasinezumab reduces the worsening of motor symptoms in people with Parkinson's disease who have rapidly progressive disease, according to an analysis of a phase 2 clinical trial published in Nature Medicine. These findings suggest that clinical efficacy of prasinezumab, which works by binding to alpha-synuclein protein aggregates, is seen after one year of treatment in such patients. According to the authors, more research is needed to determine whether the antibody can be effective in people with slower disease progression after longer periods of treatment. 

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Reactions: two reviews highlight lack of evidence on the use of puberty blockers and hormone treatments in young people

Two systematic reviews published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood warn of the lack of scientific evidence available on the use of puberty blockers and hormones for adolescents with gender-related disorders. In total, both reviews analyse a hundred published studies.

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Reactions: Study estimates that replacing red meat consumption with sardines or anchovies could prevent up to 750,000 deaths by 2050

Switching some of the world's red meat consumption to forage fish - such as sardines, herring or anchovies - would reduce the number of deaths by between 500,000 and 750,000 by 2050, according to a study published in BMJ Global Health. The authors used data projections for that year for both red meat consumption and forage fish catches in 137 countries, substituting one for the other without exceeding the supply limit for the latter. The research estimates that sardines, herring and anchovies could replace 8% of the world's red meat, which would also serve to reduce the prevalence of diet-related diseases.

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Reactions to Peter Higgs' death

The 'father' of the Higgs boson, British physicist Peter Higgs, died on Monday at the age of 94 at his home in Edinburgh (UK), according to a statement released today by the University of Edinburgh. Higgs was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013, along with François Englert, for having predicted in 1964 the existence of a new particle, the so-called Higgs boson. This particle was confirmed almost half a century later by experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

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